Each week my friend Danée will be spearheading the food/ drink movement on the blog, putting together a pseudo round up of all that is good in and around the Berlin area. Allowing us all more time for life AKA eating & cocktails – it’s a WIN/WIN.
Christmas feasts can be a nightmare. Your attempt at roasting a turkey turns dry…literally or your best friend invites her new squeeze who quietly announces he’s vegan and all you have to offer him is a bread roll and some raw carrots. Or the Sparkasse refuses to let you withdraw any cash, not because it wants you to save but coz you’re, well, penniless and you can only afford a dinner roll for yourself.
So to avoid any of these disasters, here are five places to enjoy a Yuletide get together with your nearest and dearest.
MAX UND MORITZ | Oranienstrasse 162 Kreuzberg 10969
A restaurant that’s been around since 1902 aka survived the war must be doing something right, right? If being in Germany at Christmas isn’t enough to get your European festive fix then turn it up a notch and head to Max und Moritz. This old-school gastropub services up a good hunk of pork knuckle, a sick Schnitzel, and a ripper Gulash with homemade dumpling noodles. Hot tip: wear comfortable clothing coz you’re gonna get full.
CHAY VIET | Brunnenstraße 164, Mitte 10119
It is highly likely you have a vegetarian and / or vegan friend or two (probably 20) which is actually super easy to cater for in Berlin. Hit up Chay Viet in Mitte, where the service sucks but it’s totally forgivable because the food is so delicious. It’s all the Vietnamese food you love minus the meat. Our favourites are number 14 – the tofu rice noodle salad, and the spicy pho.
WEINEREI | Fehrbelliner Straße 57, Prenzlauerberg 10119
Weinerei is your lounge room away from your lounge room. It’s warm, dimly lit, and has lots of comfy vintage furniture so groups big or small feel at home. The cool thing about this place is it works on an honor system – pay two euro for a vino glass, fill it up as often as you like with a variety of quality red, white and sparkling wines and when you’re done, plonk what you think your drinking session was worth in the jar. With a selection of antipasti, plus two-three other dishes (usually pasta, soup or a casserole) this is a good spot for a Christmas gathering that won’t break the budget.
NATHANIA & HEINRICH | Weichselstraße 44, Neukölln 12045
Pretty much a converted ground floor apartment, N&H is a bar for any occasion – be it a date, Sunday arvo tipple or, in this case, a Christmas soiree. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to settle in for the night or an afternoon sesh, N&H has a scruffy, cozy, nonchalant atmosphere and a banging cocktail menu to help you and your crew celebrate the holiday season. Two words: Basil. Smash. Buy yourself an early Christmas present.
VOM EINFACHEN DAS GUTE | Invalidenstrasse 155, Mitte 10115
You’ve just arrived in Berlin and found a great new pad in Kreuzberg, well done. Along with your new apartment comes a fancy new dining table and, you want to show it off, so you create a Facebook event calling your mates to come over for a festive shindig. But as you hit Invite, you realize you haven’t even got ten plates. Kein stress, Von Einfachen das Gute has the goods you need for a fancy, fuss-free, minimal preparation spread. From prosciutto, leberwurst, and Spanish salami to soft, hard and stinky cheeses, glorious and affordable wines, and condiments, these guys have what you need to wing your Christmas get together, in an adult-fashion kinda way.
**Photo thanks to Vom Einfachen das Gute